Raiders from the North ushers in a bold, panoramic new historical series that tells the unknown story of the Moghul emperors, chronicling the rise and fall of one of the most powerful, opulent, and glittering dynasties in history.
Descended from the legendary Tamburlaine, the Moghuls rose out of Central Asia in the 16th century. Raiders from the North tells the astounding story of their young king, who led his warriors against rampaging armies and ruthlessly ambitious enemies to found an empire that would dominate the continent. Full of action, drama, and character, with epic battles, incredible journeys, and lives ravaged by treachery, this is the perfect book for fans of fast-paced tales of adventure during some of the most tumultuous eras in history.
©2010 Alex Rutherford (P)2010 Tantor
"A totally absorbing narrative filled with authentic historical characters and sweeping action set in an age of horrifying but magnificent savagery." (Wilbur Smith, New York Times best-selling author of River God)
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As I listened to this book, I was thinking how would I describe the writing. I thought that it sounded similar to a history text book, that you would have in middle school. Then I read about the author. Alex Rutherford is a pen name for a married couple who have written many non-fiction books.
Non-fiction is what this reads most like. It seems it was based on a real man who wrote the first autobiography in Islamic literature. If you read it like a text book then you will learn about life at this time and place, but for entertainment it is lacking.
May I suggest that you read Conn Iggulden's Genghis series, starting with Genghis: Birth Of An Empire. It is a great book and a great series. You can not go wrong with Iggulden.
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This is the first book in the 'Empire of the Moghul' series by Alex Rutherford (pen name of Diana Preston and her husband, Michael Preston). The story begins in 1494 when Babur is 12 year old. He is made king of Ferghana as a result of his father’s accidental and sudden death. Babur feels a strong sense of destiny and he knows there is greatness in his future. He is, after all, the crowned ruler of Ferghana. What also reinforces his resolve is the fact that through his veins pumps the blood of great warriors and kings like Genghis Khan and Timur.
The story moves fairly quickly as the events that follow Babur’s coronation prove to be nothing less than a storm of trials and tribulations. From being sovereign of a small state to the ruler of Samarkhand, to being a king without a throne, Babur is flung into situations which might have crushed another but in his case they prove to be valuable life lessons. The result of Babur’s struggles and often perilous situations mold him into a powerful leader and the founder of the Moghul dynasty, a grand and fabulous destiny even he does not envision.
Overall the author remains true to history but as this is historical fiction, there are a few embellishments as well as fictitious characters, which the author claims were added for the sake of entertainment. We also learn that Rutherford actually traveled to most of the places mentioned in this book. This is well appreciated given that the reader/listener is treated to vivid descriptions of places, battles, executions, ancient culture and other events. From the Shah of Persia and ordinary foot soldiers to family, friends, enemies and rivals. We glimpse the colorful grandeur of the rulers of that age as well as the lives of Babur's loyal advisors and the men who fought along side him. We learn of treachery, betrayal, the gain/loss of kingdoms and the extraordinary man/animal power it took to capture thrones and establish an empire.
With the help of Babur’s own “Baburnama”, the author educated us on the ambitions, passions, emotions and success that was/is Babur’s life. This is an entertaining read/listen and I recommend it, especially to those who are interested in the history of Moghuls but don't want to be bogged down with only cold hard facts. And for those who want more, I highly recommend “Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire” also by Diana Preston and Michael Preston.
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